Feline Care Guides

Thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count)

Thrombocytopenia is the term used when a patient does not have enough platelets in the blood. Platelets (also called thrombocytes) are cell fragments that are necessary for forming blood clots and that help in repairing damaged blood vessels. Platelets are formed in the bone marrow. Their numbers can be low if not enough are being made or if too many are being used or destroyed by the body. Causes of thrombocytopenia include blood loss, immune system disorders, clotting disorders, cancer, and infectious diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and feline leukemia virus.

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Ticks and Your Cat

Ticks are small, eight-legged parasites that must drink blood in order to survive and reproduce. Ticks don’t fly, and they can’t jump (unlike fleas). In fact, ticks are more closely related to spiders and mites than to “insects” like fleas. Of the hundreds of tick species, approximately 80 are found in the United States. Ticks can feed on a variety of hosts, including cats, birds, dogs, and people.

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Treating Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs, cats, and up to 30 other species of mammals. It is caused by parasitic worms living in the major vessels of the lungs and, occasionally, in the heart. The scientific name for the heartworm is Dirofilaria immitis.

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Ultrasonography

Ultrasonography is a type of diagnostic technique known as an imaging study. This means that when a doctor performs ultrasonography  (sometimes called an ultrasound study) he or she can see pictures, or “images,” of parts of the patient’s body. Other examples of imaging studies include x-rays (radiography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

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Understanding Pet Food Labels

Pet owners can be passionate about choosing the best food for their pets, but with thousands of pet food products on the market, how do pet owners make the best choice? Pet food labels are a good place to start. Understanding the label information can help pet owners make informed decisions about the food they feed their pets.

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